I love it when people ask me questions about fat loss and exercise and nutrition and all that stuff–because those are the topics I get excited about. I want to help, so when you ask me a question, I get a kick out of listening, synthesizing your situation, and coming up with some suggestions that I believe will help you–if you implement them.
So far so good?
Brief trip down memory lane. Someone important in my life used to call me regularly to ask my advice on a difficult personal situation. I was concerned, and yes, I wanted to help. So I’d say, “What about this?” and “Have you tried that?”
I’m pretty good at brainstorming potential solutions to problems. But for some reason, this person came up with an excuse to explain why each suggestion wasn’t right for her. She resisted absolutely everything I came up with.
As in day after day.
The real problem was that the person on the other end of the phone didn’t actually want a solution.
Finally it dawned on me. She had no interest in changing. She wasn’t willing to do the work. She just wanted someone to listen to her complaints.
Back to the present.
So a few months ago I spoke with a friend who has a significant amount of weight to lose. He asked my advice, and I was happy to give some specific recommendations–small, very doable baby steps to implement that would help him gain momentum.
His response? He ignored the first several tips. And he said the final one “would be difficult because . . .”
Hello–tell me something I don’t know. Of course it’s going to be difficult.
What was he hoping for? A rainbows-and-unicorns solution that would peel off those pounds with no effort at all?
I’ve seen this many times with people who ask for weight-loss advice. I’ll talk about basics like portion control, reducing calories, improving one’s metabolism, making better food choices, and beginning an exercise program.
Some people get it—they get fired up and seek more information, more specifics so they can get started. They begin to see the possibilities, and they’re excited when they realize they have the power to change.
Others get a disappointed, disengaged look that says, “I thought you’d have something magical and exciting to tell me, but it’s the same old grind.”
I won’t lie to you: lifestyle change is difficult. But it’s worth it.
Ask anyone who’s lost the weight and made permanent changes in her life to keep it off.
In fact, ask anyone who’s ever accomplished anything: started a business, completed a degree, had a baby. Of course it was hard.
Look, you’re a grown-up, and you don’t have to listen to me or follow my advice.
But if you ask me for solutions and then have no intention of making changes, I would much rather have you tell yourself the truth: “No, I’m not willing to do that–at least not now.”
Maybe you’re not ready. It’s perfectly understandable and human. This may not be the time for you to commit to significant change. I get that, and I’m not going to lose respect for you or give you grief about it.
But don’t waste your time solution shopping, hoping someone else is going to hand you a no-sweat cure on a silver platter. Anyone who promises that is lying to you and wasting your time.
Instead of making excuses and telling yourself all the reasons why you can’t do something, ask instead, “How badly do I want this?”
The answer will tell you whether you’ve reached your tipping point.